Morales, Lago Help Canaries Batter Saints
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Roy Morales went 4-for-4 with a homer, Tyler Herron won his fourth straight decision on the mound and the Sioux Falls Canaries delivered a 12-4 win over the St. Paul Saints Friday night at CHS Field.
The win puts the Birds in second place in the American Association, the last playoff spot, with 12 games left in the regular season.
Alay Lago hit his third home run in the victory, which opened a three-game series in St. Paul. Nine of the Birds’ 12 runs in the game scored with two out.
The Birds’ offense started producing in the first inning, where the Canaries loaded the bases with none out against St. Paul starter Ryan Zimmerman. After a strikeout, Alay Lago reached on a fielder’s choice to make it 1-0. Morales hit a two-out, two-run single to put the Birds up three.
St. Paul got to Birds starter Tyler Herron in the third. Drew Stankiewicz scored on a Max Murphy sacrifice fly, and Chris Chinea hit an RBI single a batter later to cut the Birds’ lead to 3-2.
Sioux Falls got both runs back int he top of the fourth. Morales hit his homer, a solo shot to left field, to lead off the inning. Clint Coulter made it 5-2 with a two-out RBI single.
St. Paul added two in the bottom of the frame on RBI singles from Mikey Reynolds and Max Murphy. That made it 5-4, which was as close as the Saints would get.
Sioux falls added two more in the fifth, including another RBI single from Morales.
Herron left the game in the sixth with the Birds up 7-4. He allowed four runs on 10 over 5.1 innings, walking two and striking out five. Herron (7-1) now leads the league in wins.
The Birds broke the game open in the eighth against Saints reliever Paul Voelker. Damek Tomscha drove in two runs with a stand-up triple, and Lago hit a two-run homer to make it 11-4 one batter later.
Grady Wood returned to the mound to get the last six outs of the game for the Birds. He allowed one baserunner, a ninth-inning single.
The Birds added a run in the top of the ninth off Stankiewicz to bring the game to its final score.
The Birds will look to stay in playoff position and clinch a series win Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. Ty Culbreth will pitch for the Birds; Chris Nunn will get the ball for St. Paul.
by Carter Woodiel, Sioux Falls Canaries